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Underrepresentation of Research Studies and Cultural Groups

Can someone help me with finding the problems that may be associated with underrepresentation of various cultural groups in research studies, and does it devalue the data collection? Are there any efforts that can be made to assure inclusion of all groups as research subject?

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I gave you lots of ideas here. The literature on this is huge and growing. Thank you for using Brainmass.

Problems that may be associated with underrepresentation of various cultural groups in research studies, and does it devalue the data collection? Are there any efforts that can be made to assure inclusion of all groups as research subject?

The Harris (1996) study argued that American blacks are not well represented in research studies in the medical field due to past experimentation. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study is sufficient to mention here. However, this is not sufficient. While mistrust is an issue, it is not the only one. There is also a general lack of awareness about clinical trials and their significance and a lack of communication in minority communities.

Of course, none of these need prove fatal. If a research team is willing to go out of its way to educate the public about the significance of proper representation, then this problem can be solved over time. Basically, when a research design is written up, there should be a plan in place that brings up questions of representation and how it will be manifest in the study.

One issue is that of sameness and difference. In the 1960s and 70s, the civil rights movement spent a long time convincing white America that blacks in no important way differ from whites. Race is largely a social construction. Yet in these studies, that old claim has been debunked. If we are all the same, then minority representation is a non-issue. Apparently, there are substantial genetic differences among the races that make it imperative that they be represented.

The FDA lists a few examples of how this is relevant:

1. Certain cancer drugs can be toxic in some races but not others.
2. Certain races are more prone to specific types of disease then others.
3. Drugs such as SSRIs or Anti-Psychotics may be less effective in some races more than others.
4. Blacks and Hispanics in the US have higher rates of diabetes, AIDS and heart disease, though of course, this might not be purely ...

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The expert examines underrepresentation of research studies and cultural groups.

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